The Cleveland Cavaliers(8-1) defeated LeBron James and the Lakers(2-7) 114-100 in Los Angeles on Sunday. Coming into this game, James was 17-1 against the Cavs; now he’s 17-2.
With the win, Cleveland got their first victory against James since 2011.
After a slow start, the Cavs dominated the second half and led by as much as 17 points in the fourth.
Cleveland has now won eight straight.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ big win over the Lakers.
The Cavs’ backcourt of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland combined for 57 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists. Both players had 21 points apiece in the first half. Mitchell was 12/13 from the free-throw line, and Garland was 7/7. Mitchell finished with 33, and Garland added 24.
We knew they would be a prolific backcourt, and the few times we’ve seen them together, they have been exceptional.
Jarrett Allen again messed around and got another double-double. Allen had 16 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks. Allen has six double-doubles this season.
Second Half: Cleveland trailed 64-58 at halftime. They turned it around in the third. Cleveland outscored the Lakers 29-16 in the quarter, and a six-point halftime deficit turned into an 87-80 lead at the end of three. The Cavs kept the pressure on the fourth. From the end of the third and into the early part of the fourth, Cleveland went on a 17-0 run to take complete control of the game.
Cleveland outscored the Lakers 56-36 in the second half. They shot 50% from the floor and held the Lakers 37% shooting in the second half.
Not So Great:
First Quarter: Cleveland started slowly in this one. The Lakers led by as many as 12 points in the quarter. Russell Westbrook was a big spark off the bench for the Lakers, as he had 12 points in the quarter. The Cavs shrugged off a slow start, but against a better team, it could have been a problem.
It’s always good to beat LeBron James, and that’s what the Cavs did Sunday night. For the first time since he’s left(both times), the Cavs have a better team than James. At this point, the Lakers might not make the playoffs, while the Cavs look like contenders.
Cleveland stays in the Crypto.com Arena and battles the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
Best of the Rest:
Kevin Love had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Caris LeVert had 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
James led the Lakers with 27 points, seven rebounds, and four assists; Anthony Davis and Westbrook had 19 points apiece. Davis added 12 rebounds, and Westbrook had 10 assists.
Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff received the “Junkyard Dog” award. According to Love, Bickerstaff had a great halftime speech.